Buyers’ guide: Best buy garden armchairs

Get a low-slung garden armchair for your garden, perfect for laid-back outdoor living.

Best Buy garden armchairs

by Jill Morgan |

With their clean, distinctive lines and oh-so-comfy design, the latest lounge chairs are set to transform your time spent outside this spring and summer.

We're expecting there to be a big swing towards low-line, laid-back seating this year, and their sloping angles make them incredibly comfortable. As well as adding effortless living-room-style to your outside space, these low-slung lounge chairs will fast become the go-to spot in your garden for a morning coffee, watching nature as the sun goes down, or a sneaky snooze!

Best of all, the sloping angles mean you don’t need cushions to be comfy and rain runs quickly through the open-weave designs, making them a great choice for showery spring days as well as the summer to come.

What is a garden lounge chair?

The inspiration for this surge of stylishly sloping lounge chairs can be traced directly back to an innovative early 20th-century American design. Widely referred to as the Adirondack chair, it was designed in 1903 by Thomas Lee so his family could comfortably settle down outside and soak up the wild and rugged surroundings of the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

Far roomier and more supportive than the then-standard, small, Victorian, cast-iron designs and, crucially, with a sloping seat that made for a more relaxed experience, the wooden Adirondack quickly became popular.

With a few key changes, including an arched back and rounded front edge, the Adirondack is still adored today, and there are plenty of classic all-wood designs on the market if you want to bring an iconic edge to your patio.

There are all sorts of fabulously modern interpretations to choose from, too. There are models that stick closely to the classic design, but are made of different materials, designs that have retained nothing but the angles of the iconic original, and garden armchairs that showcase every stage of evolution in-between! Some have moved just a little way towards more sinuous, easy-on-the-eye curves, while others have ditched the armrests altogether and opted for the sleekest, most minimal of lines.

What are modern garden lounge chairs?

As the design has been reinterpreted, a whole host of different features and adjustments have been added to tailor these low-slung armchairs to suit our modern needs.

Some models have nifty folding and lightweight steel frames, to enable you to move the seating with ease, and there are stackable products for simple storage too. There are designs with no armrests at all and those with wide arms for ultimate relaxation, and some come with handy notches to hold your wine glass.

What material should my chair be?

All-wood designs are still popular, and you can find slatted timber designs in everything from smooth-grained teak and pale birch to warm, honey-toned acacia. There are durable faux-wood designs in shades of turquoise, slate blue, and terracotta, which are perfect for adding a dash of colour outdoors.

Wood is also being used as a frame around which synthetic polypropylene rope is wound to create chairs with a chic, linear look and a timeless, easy-to-live-with vibe. They’re very comfy too, as these rope-strung sections cleverly yield to support each individual user in pure bliss.

Synthetic or all-weather rattan outdoor furniture is always a good choice because of its easy-care good looks. There are lots of lovely open-weave polypropylene designs in pale natural shades, but we’re seeing an emerging trend for darker rattan shades.

Other tantalising options include hardwearing Textilene, which is a crisp, non-stretch fabric perfect for simple sling-style chairs, smooth powdered-coated aluminium in a range of cheery shades, and recycled polypropylene that is moulded into seamless ergonomic forms.

How much should I spend on a garden armchair?

Lounge chairs can cost from £40 up to £1,000 plus, so it’s worth knowing what you’re paying for so you can spend smart.

The choice of materials and how well they perform outside are usually reflected in the product’s price tag. There’s also the quality of production and finishing to take into account, which will impact how long your purchase is likely to last.

So, decide whether you want a striking chair that looks good for a couple of seasons or a design classic to cherish and enjoy for years to come before you start shopping. Watching the birds come in and out or listening to nature will never be easier.

What to look out for when buying a garden armchair

Many slatted timber chairs require metal fixings, so check that they are rustproof and made from stainless steel or are galvanised. Where screws are countersunk into timber, the heads should be filled, ideally with wooden plugs, and sanded smooth for a smart, water-resistant finish.

Natural softwoods are prone to absorbing water, so they will need regular maintenance if they’re to last a full lifespan. If you’re not likely to bother re-treating the wood, then it’s worth spending a little more on hardwoods such as teak or iroko, which contain natural waterproofing oils and need little care to keep them looking good.

If you’re choosing armchairs made from all-weather rattan, look for those that have been through mono-extrusion processes, where the dye is present throughout the entire strand, rather than just the coating, so any scuffs won’t show. And opt for a rigid steel or aluminium frame with minimal joints and screws.

The best garden armchairs to buy

NAIROBI Solid Acacia and Resin Wicker Garden Armchair

Best buy garden armchairs: Tactile beauty
NAIROBI Solid Acacia and Resin Wicker Garden Armchair

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A smoothly rounded wood frame and densely woven all-weather rattan give this model plenty of character. With black rattan, this chair is effortless and works with any garden style giving a high-quality chair with comfort in mind.

Dimensions: 71.5H x 59W x 80.5D cm

Weight: 7.5kg

Frame: Solid acacia, polyurethane varnish, teak finish

Zambra Garden Accent Lounge Chair

Best buy garden armchairs: An accent piece
Zambra Garden Accent Lounge Chair

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This chair is designed to get you in the Mediterranean mood with a wonderfully deep seat to sink into and bold, luxe lines in the contrasting dark-stained wood and white strap cushioning.

Dimensions: 77H x 78W x 83.5D cm

Weight: 24.5kg

Frame: Acacia wood

COPACABANA Round Garden Armchair

Best buy garden armchairs: Colour burst
COPACABANA Round Garden Armchair

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No doubt you've seen these when looking for garden inspiration online. Available in a bunch of warm and bright colours, this egg-shaped armchair will add a touch of the exotic to your patio and you can even mix and match for a little fun.

Dimensions: 89H x 71W x 80D cm

Weight: 5.5kg

Frame: Steel

Colorado Grey 4 Seater Coffee Set

Best buy garden armchairs: Laid-back lounge set
Colorado Grey 4 Seater Coffee Set

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Great value and enough space for four people to sit and relax, this B&Q Colorado four seater set will be great in a family home. Includes a small coffee table, two seats and a bench, this set is a bargain with style.

Dimensions: 80H x 58W x 72D cm

Weight: 29kg

Frame: Steel

Lita Garden Chair by CosmoLiving

Best buy garden armchairs: Futuristic vibe
Lita Garden Chair by CosmoLiving

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With its sleek lines and strings of white synthetic wicker, this low lounge chair conjures up visions of Miami pool parties and endless cocktails. The tubular steel frame is pale grey, and the armless design is minimal but still perfectly comfy for an afternoon nap. Also available in Charcoal.

Dimensions: 82.04H x 61.98W x 93.98D cm

Weight: 12.47kg

Frame: Powder coated steel, rope wicker

John Lewis & Partners Chevron Statement Garden Chair

Best buy garden armchairs: To leave out all year round
John Lewis & Partners Chevron Statement Garden Chair

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With a contemporary chevron pattern rattan giving beautifully clean-cut lines, this chair is a great contender for leaving out all year round thanks to the durable and weather-resistant frame.

Dimensions: 112H x 78W x 102D cm

Weight: 8.5kg

Frame: Aluminium with synthetic weave

Best buy garden armchairs: 3 stylish steals

Mal Garden Chair with Cushion by Dakota Fields

Best buy garden armchairs: Boho chic
Mal Garden Chair with Cushion by Dakota Fields

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We love this lounge chair for its natural, open-weave webbing, making it a perfect relaxing seat for any modern garden. Add a cushion for extra style or keep it as it is for a boho look.

Dimensions: 72H x 67W x 134D cm

Weight: 14kg

Frame: Solid wood

Swara High Back Garden Lounge Chair

Best buy garden armchairs: Comfy curves
Swara High Back Garden Lounge Chair

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This garden armchair is a statement piece that'll add sophistication to your garden. In a stylish open weave rattan, these simple and chic chairs has arms and a lovely high back to lean on.

Dimensions: 100H x 73W x 65D cm

Weight: 7kg

Frame: Aluminium, poly wicker

Karl Garden Chair by Dakota Field

Best buy garden armchairs: Cool coastal
Karl Garden Chair by Dakota Field

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A modern twist on the classic wooden lounge chair, this versatile contemporary version will have you feeling like you're by the beach. Also available in a teak brown, it's perfect for unwinding in, just add some gorgeous cushion for extra comfort.

Dimensions: 72H x 75W x 81D cm

Weight: 11kg

Frame: Solid wood - acacia

Best buy garden armchairs: 3 budget buys

Gardenline Rope Effect Rocking Chair

Best buy budget garden armchair
Gardenline Rope Effect Rocking Chair

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This relaxing rope effect armchair is perfect for any modern garden. With soft seating, a backrest, and a rocker, this chair is ideal for sitting back and relaxing with a three-year guarantee included to set your mind at ease.

Dimensions: 89.5H x 73W x 89D cm

Weight: 8.78kg

Frame: Powder-coated steel

Adirondack Chair Solid Acacia Wood

Best buy solid wood garden armchairs
Adirondack Chair Solid Acacia Wood

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This classic garden chair is sturdy, durable and stylish. Made with solid Acacia to last, it's easy to clean with just a damp cloth. Practical but modern, this is a lounge chair for any garden.

Dimensions: 89H x 96W x 69D cm

Weight: 12.1kg

Frame: Solid acacia wood

The Range Garden Rattan Rocking Chair

Best buy garden rattan rocking chair
The Range Garden Rattan Rocking Chair

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Also available in mixed grey, this garden rocking chair is a great option for any modern garden looking for that extra comfort. With a classic rattan style and cushion included, this is the ultimate lounge chair at a great value price.

Dimensions: 98H x 88W x 66D cm

Weight: 10kg

Frame: Polyethylene

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